Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Design Thesis
Code LARC509
Coordinator Ms J Muszbek
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2022-23 Level 7 FHEQ Whole Session 20


• Taught by tutors drawn from the Practice Network, this module provides the opportunity for students to critically re-evaluate their previous experience of the programme and consolidate their plan for the graduating design project.

• The module aims to develop a student’s ability to generate and refine project briefs through research, analysis and interpretation of architectural culture and precedent, physical and social context, and the needs of clients, users and the public.

• Working closely with tutors and building on the experience, knowledge and skills gained through both the Inter-Practice Year and the Design Direction module, students are guided to critically research and establish:

– A sophisticated and considered architectural thesis;
– A general location and particular site within it;
– A ‘client’, which could range from an institution to a demographic;
– Writt en programme and specific brief;
– A developed approach to the LSA’s five P.R.I.M.E. Values

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Assess how the needs and aspirations of their identified user group and the local inhabitants are affected by – and can influence – the scale and quality of their architectural proposal and its relationship to the urban fabric (GC5.1)

(LO2) Evaluate, within the professional and social context of their role as an architect, the potential impact of their building proposal on existing and proposed communities (GC6.3)

(LO3) Compose a brief that defines client and user requirements in relation to a building scale, programme and type appropriate to its site and context (GC7.2)

(LO4) Apply appropriate methods of investigation and preparation to the formulation of a design project brief, identifying their role and contribution to the process as an architect in relation to their co-professionals (GC7.3)

(S1) Creativity & problem solving skills: analyse, evaluate and synthesise information, and present creative solutions

(S2) Research & information literacy skills: source, critically evaluate and attribute information with clarity and rigour.

(S3) Communication skills: express ideas clearly, as well as listen to, present, challenge and defend ideas effectively both orally and in writing to meet the expectations of a professional working environment.

(S4) Team work & interpersonal skills: work well in groups, be adaptable, able to discuss and debate and respond to constructive feedback, show respect for diverse values and beliefs.

(S5) Entrepreneurial skills: planning and organisation, recognition of strengths and weaknesses, track own personal development

(S6) Critical thinking skills: open-mindedness, critical awareness, ability to question, reflect, propose.



Students devise their own direction for this project in discussion and negotiation with the Module Leader, their tutor and in the context of a community of peers engaged in corresponding project development.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Students will learn through the following range of teaching and events –

• Regular group tutorials with their design tutor and peer group;
• Feedback from tutors, peers, visiting critics and experts at a crit.

Scheduled learning and teaching –

Description – Group tutorials, individual tutorials, crits
Learning hours – 11.5% – 23 hours

Guided independent study –

Description – Directed activities and self-managed learning
Learning hours – 88.5% – 177 hours

Total Learning Hours for the Module – 200

Attendance – 100%

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours     23

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 177


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Portfolio Resit available – Yes, capped at the pass mark of 50% Coursework – Students interrogate and synthesise complex and sophisticated concerns and themes developed through earlier modules in    100       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.